There are approximately 9,000 undergraduate and 2,100 graduate students enrolled at Buffalo State College. Of this largely undergraduate community 7.370 students are under 25 years of age, 1,767 are over 25. The campus boasts a student body from around the country and the world; however, their census shows that the majority of the student body is actually local Erie County residents (6,567 combined undergraduate and graduate students). Despite these figures the campus is diverse in the proportion of different ethnicities represented on campus with White (non Hispanic) students representing the largest proportion (7,280 combined undergraduate and graduate students), Black (non-Hispanic) the second (1,417 combined undergraduate and graduate students), and Hispanic students the third (480 combined undergraduate and graduate students).
Of this diverse student body, large portions of the students are commuters and parking is always a problem on campus.
In June of 2008 the largest number of undergraduate students graduating from the University obtained a Bachelor of Science degree (1,193). This seems unique considering one would suspect a Bachelor of Arts degree to be the most popular degree granted from a four-year Liberal Arts College.
(Does anyone know if BS’s are awarded to education majors?)
For graduate students, the highest number of degrees granted were Masters of Science in Education.
WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN? IDENTIFING THE USER.
A Learning Center within the Buffalo State College Library, would serve the diverse community of undergraduate and graduate students on campus, both part time and full time students. Since, a large portion of the student body is over the age of 25, one can assume that, they are returning students; who may especially benefit from a review of the writing and research skills reinforced at the Learning Center. Furthermore, although the international community is small (92 students enrolled last year), there does exist a community of patrons where English is a second language and extra assistance in writing and research may be especially beneficial. Finally, we hope that the comfortable and inviting environment created in the Learning Center may be an enticing location for commuter students to spend time between classes hanging out while working on assignments.
WILL IT BE SUCCESSFUL?
In their annual report, Buffalo State College has announced the introduction of a new bachelor’s degree in writing. The program will focus on:
Providing a selection of writing courses balanced with complementary courses in literature, communication, and television arts. Students (will) learn to write fiction, poetry, and screenplays; other concentrations will include professional writing, journalism, and literary nonfiction genres such as the personal essay, memoir, and nature writing.
The institutional support of this new, interdisciplinary approach toward writing, is unique to the area and is sure to have a huge draw for the University. As the school has demonstrated support for the writing career path, they may also show support for a learning center that reinforces the skills tackled in such a program. Exceptional scholars within the writing track may be considered for employment in the center, demonstrating interdepartmental promotion and support. However, the center is not just for writers, as the skills taught at there are an integral part of all collegiate paths.
Writing support does currently exist on campus, but this assistance is dispersed throughout the campus and hours are limited. A new learning skills center, will expand the offerings of the current writing initiatives and expand them toward general research. Furthermore, the centralization of services next to the materials needed for research should be wildly popular. Although consolidation sometimes may seem like a bad thing, no staff will be lost. In fact, we hope to solve the problem of limited hours by allowing the staff to cover a wider spectrum of segments throughout the day.
Janet L. Balicki
April 6, 2009